Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates is the place to go for gourmet dessert

State Hornet Staff

Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates serves up the perfect marriage between the elegance of dessert couture and friendliness of small local business.


Located at 1801 L Street Ginger Elizabeth’s small storefront carries a large selection of handmade chocolates, truffles, pastries and other confectioneries.  


“The funny thing is that Ginger’s brain does not want to stop when it comes to the different products and recipes she wants to put out,” said store supervisor Corey Burnett. “She literally has a hard drive full of recipes and ideas we haven’t used yet.”


The menu is constantly in rotation with new flavors regularly appearing like their gourmet frothed hot chocolate that comes in three forms including classic semisweet, a thick European sipping chocolate, and a Oaxacan hot chocolate spiced with chilies, cinnamon and ginger.


Their signature handmade truffles are available in 12 and 24-piece boxes, with the most popular according to sales associate Hoa Tran being the “Palet D’Or truffle.” It is made of pure bittersweet chocolate ganache and delicately decorated in 24karat gold leaf.


The menu also includes eight macaron flavors which are rotated monthly, with the current most popular being both the “Salty Caramel” and “Vanilla Almond”.


“I’d never had macarons before I came to Ginger Elizabeth,” said customer Virginia McCormick. “They’re so flavorful without being overly sweet.”


Ginger Elizabeth often introduces specialty items for holidays and events that happen in the neighborhood,  like Second Saturday.


“We have things that are popular all year round and popular seasonal things like macarons and ice cream sandwiches,” Tran said. “We do a lot of special events like ice cream socials and sundae specials for Second Saturday.”


Store owner Ginger Elizabeth-Hahn graduated with top honors from the Culinary Institute of America, studied cacao farming in Belize, and was under the tutelage of Master Pastry Chef and chocolatier Jacques Torres.


After her marriage six years ago, Elizabeth-Hahn returned to Sacramento and opened a small chocolate shop with a single goal, to provide beautifully crafted chocolate that is organic, environmentally friendly and ethically sourced.


“Fair Trade, environmental consciousness and being organic are becoming  much more visible issues,” Burnett said. “I think ultimately having a business model like that, works out best in the long run for both the store and the customers.”


The store’s commitment to a globally conscious business model has translated into being transparent about where the chocolate is sourced from that include small, independent, organic growers that are personally vetted by Elizabeth-Hahn.


Elizabeth-Hahn makes several trips a year to personally visit the cacao farms in Belize.


“We monitor the process of chocolate making from the hands of the cacao and dairy farmers to when we put it in our customers hands at checkout,” Tran said. “We like to source locally as much as we can too.”


Sales clerk Jordin Munoz, a recent graduate of the culinary program at the Art Institute, said she came to Ginger Elizabeth to study directly under Elizabeth-Hahn.


“Ginger gave me, and all of us some really intense training about the ingredients we use, our products and the standard qualities she wants,” Munoz said. “She is a very inspirational person to me in the way she works.”


Burnett said that Elizabeth-Hahn inspires all of them to be passionate about the chocolate they sell.


Ginger Elizabeth is currently only located at its 1801 L Street location, along with its West Sacramento primary kitchen, but there are plans to expand in the future.


“Ginger is thinking of opening up a second location in San Francisco,” Burnett said. “It will be a bit competitive, but she knows how to reach her target demographic.”


But for now, Ginger Elizabeth remains Sacramento’s only purely local, small business chocolate boutique.


“Ginger started local, and she’s stayed local,” Munoz said. “I just think that’s the greatest thing.”